Alonzo Mourning To Be Inducted Into Basketball Hall Of Fame
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Another NBA legend will be heading to the basketball Hall Of Fame with the recent announcement of Alonzo Mourning. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced its inductees of 2014 on Monday, and includes a couple of familiar faces.
Alonzo Mourning was a legendary player for the Miami Heat who is known as one of the greatest shot blockers of all time. He led the NBA in blocked shots in the 1998-1999 and the 1999-2000 season, while also leading in blocks per game in the same two seasons.
He was a member of the Miami Heat from 1993 until 2008 after being traded from the Charlotte Hornets, and has the record for most blocked shots for the Heat, a total of 1,625. He won a championship with the Heat in 2006, and was a seven-time NBA All-Star in his time in the league, following his time as a member of the Georgetown Hoyas.
When speaking on his nomination into the Basketball Hall Of Fame, an emotional Alonzo Mourning said “I stand here on the shoulders of so many other people. The man over there to the left [pointing to former Georgetown coach John Thompson] that helped contribute so much to my life, not just as an athlete, but as a person, as well. Big John taught me more about life than he did about basketball and prepared me for that next step.”
He also had a strong relationship with Miami Heat coach Pat Riley, and said that his preference for those to present him for induction would be Thompson and Riley.
Joining Alonzo Mourning in the 2014 selections is Mitch Richmond, who is not as well-known, but and unlike Mourning, he played for a handful of teams including the Kings, Warriors, and Lakers. He scored 20,497 points and averaged more than 21 points per game for ten consecutive seasons in the NBA.
Additionally, the NBA stars will be joined by Nolan Richardson, Gary Williams and Immaculata University’s AIAW National Championship teams of the early 1970s in addition to five Direct Elect recipients from various Hall of Fame committees in the full list of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame entrants of 2014.
Alonzo Mourning has endured some struggles throughout his career, and also overcame a kidney transplant in 2003 before going on to win the 2006 NBA championship with the Heat. He currently serves as a Heat executive.
Mourning also becomes the second Heat player to be inducted into the Basketball Hall Of Fame, following point guard Gary Payton’s induction in 2013, a player who also helped Miami win the championship in 2006.
Image via Wikimedia Commons